Had a disturbed and poor sleep last night? Don’t worry, just take quick catnap of 30 minutes during the day to compensate it, suggests a study. If it goes on for two hours, it will be sufficient to rejuvenate your immune system, it shows.
“Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep,” said one of the study authors Brice Faraut from the Paris Descartes University in France.
“This is the first study that found napping could restore biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health to normal levels,” Faraut added.
Lack of sleep is a major public health issue in view of omnipotent TV serials sit-coms throughout the night which keep the youth awake whole night and miss their sound sleep. Insufficient sleep can also result in less productivity as well as vehicle accidents, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The researchers examined the link between hormones and sleeplessness in a group of eleven healthy men aged between 25 and 32.
After a night of limited or disturbed sleep, the men had a 2.5-fold increase in their norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter involved in the body’s fight-or-flight response to stress.
Norepinephrine increases the body’s heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar and researchers found that no change in norepinephrine levels when the men had taken a catnap of 30 minutes to 2 hours the next day.
Sleeplessness also affects the levels of interleukin-6, a protein with antiviral properties, found inside the saliva, the researchers found.
The levels of interluekin-6 dropped after a night of distubed sleep but remained normal when the participants were allowed to take a sound nap the next day. The changes suggest that quick catnaps seen in offices are beneficial for the immune system and productivity.
The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).